There are different types of smart irrigation controllers, which take the guesswork out of scheduling your irrigation system. These controllers use weather data and sensors to automatically adjust your irrigation schedule to environmental changes. They know when to water, how much water is needed, and when to stop watering. Controllers do this in one of two main ways: through offsite data or through an on-site sensor.
Weather based WiFi controllers
There are different ways that these types of controllers get the data they use to help you water more efficiently. One way is through historical weather data pulled from websites or databases. For this, you usually just enter the ZIP code when programming the controller, and it draws info for that area in a given month. Another way these gather information is from an offsite weather station in the area, pulling the current weather data and using that to calculate a watering schedule.
A good option for weather based smart irrigation control is the Rachio Pro. This controller automatically sets a schedule based on past, present and predicted weather with seasonal adjustments. Control from anywhere with the app for iOS and Android or on your desktop computer. Add an outdoor enclosure to protect the controller.
On-site sensor-based controllers
An on-site weather station will adjust your watering schedule to the current site’s weather—if it’s raining, your weather station will skip the scheduled watering. Moisture sensors are buried under the turf to measure current soil moisture levels, to help you water only when it’s needed. If you don’t want to get a new controller, you may be able to convert your current irrigation controller to a smart controller with an add-on sensor.
Good options for on-site sensor-based smart irrigation controllers and add-on sensors include:
- Baseline’s WaterTec S100 soil moisture sensor—this add-on sensor waters as-needed based on soil moisture.
- Hunter’s Rain-Clik Wireless Rain Sensor—this sensor tells a controller within 800 ft. to shut off when it starts raining.
- Irritrol’s Climate Logic Wireless Weather Sensor—this rain and solar sensor attaches to an Irritrol controller.
- Rain Bird’s ESP-4STME—this controller adjusts based on weather data pulled from your ZIP code.
- Toro’s Evolution—this controller helps you create an irrigation schedule based on the location’s historical weather data.
With some controllers, you can download an app to your smartphone and access your system settings and schedule, and turn it on or off from your device if needed.
Learn more about water-saving technologies at EwingIrrigation.com/savewater.